A synthetic stimulant and hallucinogen, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is popular among teens and party goers as a recreational or a rave drug. Chemically, it is similar to mescaline and methamphetamine. On ingestion, it creates a sense of euphoria, increases the feeling of sensuality and closeness, and enhances enjoyment. Being a psychedelic, MDMA creates distortions in the perception of time and place.
It has been categorized as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Also known by street names like ecstasy, Molly, X, E, Stacy and Adam, it is used for its ability to reduce inhibitions and increase social interactions. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report, around 1.4 million American adolescents, aged between 12 to 17, used hallucinogens including MDMA in 2017.
MDMA is usually available in the form of tablets or capsules, though the most popular way to take the drug is orally. MDMA sellers use different logos and typographs to differentiate themselves, with the most common logos being four-leafed clovers, butterflies, and lightning bolts.
MDMA use encourages the brain to release neurotransmitters like serotonin producing a euphoria-like feeling lasting anywhere between 3 to 6 hours. The duration of the high depends from person to person, however, it also depends on the purity of the drug, the amount used, and the environment in which it is taken. Some of the common symptoms of MDMA abuse are:
Users also develop bruxism (jaw clenching) which results in erosion of teeth enamel and causes dental decay. Grinding of teeth is also very common among MDMA users.
Consequences of MDMA abuse depend upon the intensity and quantity of the drug used. A moderate use of the drug might cause the user to experience a range of emotions including anxiety, restlessness, sadness, and irritability. However, even less than moderate use may lead to common side effects like mood swings, behavioral changes, and memory problems.
Physically MDMA affects the users body temperature and high doses can lead to heart, kidney, and liver damage and even multiple organ failures. Another side effect of MDMA use is hyperthermia or excessive body temperature which may prove fatal.
As MDMA encourages the feelings of closeness with others, its use may lead to unsafe sexual practices resulting in sexually transmitted diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.
Combining MDMA with alcohol and other drugs is dangerous and often leads to overdose.
Prolonged use of MDMA can cause psychological as well as physical dependence on the drug. Abrupt cessation of the drug can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These include:
Even though there is no medication for MDMA treatment, it has been found that behavioral therapy is helpful in managing the symptoms of abuse and withdrawal. Counselling sessions are also helpful in identifying triggers and learning coping mechanisms. An effective MDMA addiction treatment program includes a medically supervised detox program along with therapy and counselling sessions.
Adeona Healthcare, a rehab center for teens aged between 12 to 17, provides comprehensive treatment programs for mental health illness in teens, adolescent alcohol or drug addiction, and dual–diagnosis. As no single treatment plan can work for each recovering individual, the highly skilled staff at Adeona Healthcare works with the patients to design individualized treatment programs which are based on the patient’s requirements and treatment goals.
For more information about our safe, structured and holistic treatment programs for long lasting recovery, call our 24/7 teen treatment helpline 866-412-1332 and speak to our experts. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance.